Yesterday was the annual World Communion Sunday where Protestants attempt to strive for ecumenical unity by holding communion with other congregations of different denominations. Our Church held a joint-communion with the American Baptist congregation across the street.
Admittedly, I did not participate. Not because I do not like the American Baptists – although they aren’t in the Apostolic Succession – but because I was ill and had to rush home.
But, it caused me to consider.
If there is a schism, or any sort, either by double jurisdiction or an outright splintering, would the conservative portion (say, the Confessing Methodist) join in the world, joint, communion with the progressive (say, Progressive Methodist) portion?
If I were a member of the Confessing Methodist Church, I could not given the sinful nature of the Progressives. If I were a member of the Progressive side, I would not because the Confessing side was buried with injustice, suppressing the truth. If I were via media, I would refuse communion with both given they had split the church – one for Apollos, one for Paul.
I guess this goes back to the break down in ecumenical goals in mainline Protestantism. We reached a high-water mark in the merger of the EUB and the ME… maybe? If we are having communion together – if the Table is there for us as a sign of unity, of the progression to unity, then why is schism considered?
Anyway, what are your thoughts? If in 2017 there are two versions of the UMC, do you think they’ll take communion with one another? If you were in one, would you take communion with the other?
- Scenarios for United Methodism’s Future? (juicyecumenism.com)
- THE MAINLINER’S SURVIVAL GUIDE TO THE POST-DENOMINATIONAL WORLD (Derek Penwell): Review (bobcornwall.com)
- Dr. Welch’s Grape Juice & World Communion (wtmcclendon.wordpress.com)